1965: Harvey Cox, a Harvard Divinity professor wrote “Secular City”. He stated that due to secularity the church would have to adapt to survive. Religion was losing the battle with secular society. He concluded, "We must learn… to speak of God in a secular fashion and find a non-religious interpretation of biblical concepts.”
1995: Professor Cox published a new book, “Fire from Heaven”. He amended his previous conclusions due to starling new evidence. The 21st century will belong to Pentecostalism not secularism. Pentecostalism is “a spiritual hurricane that has already touched nearly a half a billion people, and an alternative vision of the human future whose impact may only be at its earliest stages today.” Why has Pentecostalism seen such a rapid growth? It is due to the belief “that the Spirit of God needs no mediators but is available to anyone in an intense, immediate, indeed interior way.”
“Pentecostalism in its various forms in now the largest single group apart from Catholicism and outnumbers the sum total of all other forms of Protestantism…. the movement grew from [near] zero in 1900 to at least a half billion by 2000." (Christianity’s Dangerous Idea by Alister McGrath).
We are seeing God's promise concerning the last days fulfilled in our life times. God has promised to pour out His Spirit. Just as in the book of Acts, there is a very real and powerful experience available for you today. You will miraculously speak in tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance. This is the initial evidence of your life- changing encounter.
A. The experience - Acts 2:4
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
B. The doubters - Acts 2:12-13
And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
C. The explanation - Acts 2:14-17
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh...
D. The promise - Acts 2:37-39
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Some may doubt, but hundreds of millions have already received their own personal Pentecost. Have you received the promise?
I would love to pray with you and see God fill you with this wonderful gift. If you are in the area, please come visit us at the First United Pentecostal Church of Marianna. We have Sunday services at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. We also have a midweek service on Wed. at 7 p.m.
If you have any questions or would like to find a Spirit filled church in your area, feel free to contact me.
For more information on receiving the Spirit: http://www.apostolicallyspeaking.com/understanding-the-holy-ghost/